Wednesday , 23 October 2019

AQB Helps Bridge the Gap

The Appraiser Qualifications Board is building effective training modules to help bridge the gap between supervisor and trainee. Mark Lewis with The Appraisal Foundation feels confident these new changes will add excitement for the younger generations coming into the industry. 

Buzz:
Mark, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. You spoke at Valuation Expo in Las Vegas and discussed some of the updates appraisers can expect to see through the Appraiser Qualifications Board. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Mark: The next big thing which the AQB is studying is an effort to provide an alternative experience option for the supervisor/trainee model which is currently in place. We have heard for a number of years the issues with trainees not being able to find a willing supervisor. There are several reasons for this issue; however, no matter the reason, it is still a problem.

The program under consideration is being called Practical Applications of Real Estate Appraisal (PAREA). The concept would rely on simulated training modules designed to satisfy a portion of the experience requirement for the Licensed Residential and Certified Residential classifications. It is AQB’s position that this type of simulated training could provide at least equivalent, if not superior, training to what many entry level appraisers receive today.

If AQB can work out all the various facets of developing and implementing such a program, it could be a real game changer for the entry level appraiser.

Buzz: How does the board determine necessary changes to the education requirements and experience requirements?

Mark: I can assure you, changes to the education and experience requirements are not taken without significant input, exposure, and deliberation. AQB fully understands the ramification of changes to the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria and changes are only considered when deemed necessary to ensure public trust.

AQB proposes, and adopts, all changes to the criteria in a completely transparent process. Through seeking input from the various advisory committees associated with The Appraisal Foundation, users of appraisal services, practicing appraisers, and general comments from the public as the basis for any change to the Criteria.

Buzz: How will some of the new changes in the industry impact appraisers?

Mark: A quick look at other professions shows the delivery method of training entry-level professionals is rapidly changing. Leveraging technology to provide consistent and high-quality training is commonplace. The appraisal profession is behind the curve from this standpoint and needs to modernize. While this concept may be unsettling for those of us who trained under the current system, the up and coming appraisers who are accustomed to this type of learning environment will thrive.

Buzz:  One major change that was announced earlier this year was the hours of experience one must complete before entering the field. Has the AQB seen a better success rate for new appraisers since these changes were implemented?

Mark: The AQB tracks first-time test takers of the licensing and certification exams. Those statistics, particularly for the LR and CR credential levels, show a significant percentage increase in the number of first-time test takers over the past year or two. This is very encouraging.

Additionally, these statistics likely do not consider the full impact of the 2018 Criteria changes, which were effective May 1, 2018. It will take some time for all the jurisdictions to implement the changes, if any are to be made. It is important to remember that AQB sets the minimum qualification level and each jurisdiction has the option to exceed the AQB minimums. So, an individual wishing to obtain an appraiser credential must check with their home jurisdiction for any requirements above the AQB minimum.

Buzz: Mark, before we conclude this interview, is there anything you would like to add?

Mark: Personally, it is very exciting to see a new crop of energetic, well educated professionals begin to take their place in a profession which I have found rewarding and fulfilling. I know this is also the feeling of my fellow AQB board members as well as the staff at The Appraisal Foundation.

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About Mark Lewis

Mark Lewis
Mark A. Lewis, ARA, RPRA has been engaged in real estate appraisals and consultation since 1984. Mark began his appraisal career as a contract appraiser for Dickerson-Seely & Associates, Inc., a full service appraisal firm in Lufkin, Texas. Today he and Scott Seely own and manage the firm, now known as Lewis & Seely Appraisals, Inc. Mark joined the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA) in 1996 and earned his ARA designation in 1999 and his RPRA designation in 2014. He has served ASFMRA as President of the Texas Chapter, Chair of the Appraisal Education/Accreditation Committee, and District V Experience Review Chairman. In 2007, he was awarded the H. E. “Bulk” Stalcup Excellence in Education Award by ASFMRA. He is presently Chair of the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) of The Appraisal Foundation. On a local level, he has also served as President of the Lufkin Multiple Listing Service and Chair of the Grievance Committee for the Lufkin Association of Realtors. Mark has been lead instructor for many of ASFMRA’s core courses and was actively involved in the writing and design of the current Cost, Sales Comparison, and Income Approach courses. He has also taught and authored many seminars on various subjects through the years and is an AQB Certified USPAP Instructor. Mark and his wife Alica have two children, Amber and Aaron

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